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G.M.Hunter Ltd.

Tilbrook Grange

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Winner Best local product


Winner of

Devon Cattle Breeders Herd Competition 2016


May 2017

By jameshunter1, Jun 5 2017 05:53PM

Life up on the farm (by James Hunter)

Last month I started with the growing problems with the dry spring. I am now pleased and I think you will have all noticed that the rain has come. In May we had 50mm or 2” this has done a marvellous job. If it had come a little later the prospects for a good harvest would have been slipping away. We will have to wait to see what the yields will be when the combine starts at harvest time. I will keep you posted. Our heavy land with a high clay content hang on better than the sandy ground in droughts.

During the month there was the Devon County Show, the first main show for exhibiting our cattle in the season. Martyn made the 235 mile journey with a cow Tilbrook Gracious and her 8 month old calf and a two & a half year old heifer Tilbrook Teddy. There were 12 exhibitors with 40 cattle forward for judging. This was lower than previous years because of bovine TB restrictions. We had travelled the furthest and were well rewarded. The heifer took first prize and Gracious was second in class. This was a good result in the breed’s home county. Unfortunately the current Bovine TB rules now prevent us going to another show till September.

During the month we have been shopping, or I could say there have been numerous visits from a tractor salesman. The smallest & oldest tractor, a 2002 Mc Cormick 100 Hp owned since new, has been traded in. We have purchased another New Holland tractor, second hand from a dealer at Ramsey. Ten years ago it would have been a big tractor but in comparison a 180Hp is now the normal. The jobs it will be doing did not justify a brand new one. It is 5 years old with 1700 hours on the clock. Tractor work done is measured in hours rather than in miles. I have been driving tractors since I was 13 and New Hollands for about 10 years. It has a very modern constant variable transmission. The driver just scrolls a knob to adjust the speed in either manual, auto or cruise control. I admit I had to have a lesson on how to drive it! Cost, about £50 000 cheaper than a new one.

I seldom mention much about the chemicals we use. They are an essential input to produce clean crops for good food production. I attach a photo of what happens the sprayer misses a bit and the blackgrass is not controlled. Unfortunately it is in one of our fields and worse it is a roadside field!

Finally last Saturday we had a Ball. It was the 70th anniversary of North Beds Young Farmers club. I was a member in the 70’s. It was held at Bates’s farm in Pertenhall. Joe Bates was Chairman in 1949 and was there on the seniors table, accompanied by his sons & daughters & grand children. There were 280 current and old members in the most beautifully decorated grain store. Farmers can scrub up clean and the ladies looked wonderful in the traditional long ball gowns. What a noise when we all knew so many and had so many happy memories over so many years. Farmers are so lucky; we do not move around much and generally marry a local girl. We all work & pull together to produce a simple commodity and we enjoy doing it. There was plenty of food & drink and very good time was had by all!

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